Catalog Archive
Auction 179, Lot 559

"Sueviae et Bavariae Descriptio", Munster, Sebastian

Subject: Southern Germany

Period: 1550 (published)

Publication: Cosmographiae Universalis...

Color: Black & White

13.6 x 10.3 inches
34.5 x 26.2 cm
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Sebastian Munster (1489 - 1552) was one of the three most renowned cartographers of the sixteenth century, along with Mercator and Ortelius. Munster's Geographia and Cosmographia Universalis were two of the most widely read and influential books of the period. His editions of Ptolemy's Geographia, published between 1540 and 1552, were illustrated with 48 woodcut maps, the standard 27 Ptolemaic maps supplemented by 21 new maps. These new maps included a separate map of each of the known continents and marked the development of regional cartography in Central Europe. The antique geography was a prelude to Munster's major work, the Cosmographia, which was published in nearly 30 editions in six languages between 1544 and 1578 and then was revised and reissued by Sebastian Petri from 1588 to 1628. The Cosmographia was a geographical as well as historical and ethnographic description of the world. It contained the maps from the Geographia plus additional regional maps and city views with nearly 500 illustrations which made it one of the most popular pictorial encyclopedias of the sixteen century.

This Ptolemaic-style woodcut map of Germany is oriented with north to the bottom. The Rhenus fl. (Rhine River) is shown at the right the map. Suevia, shown at the center of the map, is the Latin term for Swabia (German Schwaben) which was a medieval duchy in the lands now forming southwestern Germany. Its territories covered the area now occupied by Baden-Wurttemberg (including the Black Forest) and parts of western Bavaria (to the Lech River) and northern Switzerland. Latin text on verso.

References: Shirley (BL Atlases) T.MUN-1c #8.

Condition: B+

There is a hint of toning along the centerfold and a pair of dampstains confined to the side margins. A short centerfold separation at bottom has been closed on recto with old paper with a small amount of border covered by the repair.

Estimate: $250 - $325

Sold for: $180

Closed on 9/16/2020